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Jackie Northam

Jackie Northam is Foreign Affairs correspondent for NPR news. The veteran journalist has more than two decades of experience covering the world's hot spots and reporting on a broad tapestry of international and foreign policy issues.

Based in Washington, D.C., Northam is assigned to the leading stories of the day, traveling regularly overseas to report the news - from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

Northam just completed a five year stint as NPR's National Security Correspondent, covering US defense and intelligence policies. She led the network's coverage of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, traveling regularly to the controversial base to report on conditions there, and on US efforts to prosecute detainees.

Northam spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent. She reported from Beirut during the war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, from Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and from Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War. She lived in and reported extensively from Southeast Asia, Indochina, and Eastern Europe, where she charted the fall of communism.

While based in Nairobi, Kenya, Northam covered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She managed to enter the country just days after the slaughter of ethnic Tutsis began by hitching a ride with a French priest who was helping Rwandans escape to neighboring Burundi.

A native of Canada, Northam's first overseas reporting post was London, where she spent seven years covering stories on Margaret Thatcher's Britain and efforts to create the European Union.

Northam has received multiple journalism awards during her career, including Associated Press awards, regional Edward R. Murrow awards, and was part of an NPR team journalists that won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXvrfmzH05M The debate over how to combat the self-declared Islamic State is increasing in the wake of the Paris attacks. There are calls for more airstrikes or putting troops on the ground in Syria. But the U.S. military says it launched an attack this week that hit the Islamic State right where it hurt. On Monday, U.S. warplanes flew low over an area in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State, or ISIS. The target was roughly 300 trucks used to transport...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: And in both Syria and Ukraine, Russia has surprised the U.S. and other Western nations with the speed and scale of its military operations. As NPR's Jackie Northam reports, that is raising concerns about lapses in intelligence gathering. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: In late August, Russia began sending aircraft and troops into Syria, claiming it was helping fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State. In just...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a whopper of a trade deal. The TPP would bring together the economies of the U.S., Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations, creating the world's largest free trade area. NPR's Jackie Northam reports that details of the deal have been kept secret until now. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: The Obama administration released the full text of the TPP, all 30 chapters, first thing...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The U.S. carried out dozens of naval operations every year to challenge territorial claims by countries, and many of them are in Asia. NPR's Jackie Northam explains the background. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: The U.S. basis for maneuvers in the South China sea is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The convention, which the U.S. has not ratified, says that countries can claim territorial...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/ . Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Also in the news today, President Obama meets Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. That meeting is taking place in Washington. Now, since 2001, the United States has aligned itself with Pakistan in the fight on terror. But the relationship has often been strained, to say the least. Today, the president is expected to encourage his Pakistani counterpart to help bring the Taliban to the negotiating...

If you've bought a bottle of nice wine recently, you'll know that the costs have gone up. And the price of really fine wines – the ones that cost at least several hundred dollars – have doubled, tripled and more over the past few years. As prices rise, so, too, do the number of thefts. Prima restaurant in Walnut Grove, Calif., has a celebrated wine list, with a number of Bordeauxs and Burgundies that can set you back several thousand dollars. Thieves have successfully targeted those wines...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Let's head north now to continue this focus on politics. The words landslide, stunning route, sweeping victory, are all being used to describe what has happened in Canada. The leader of the country's Liberal Party was elected prime minister yesterday. His name is Justin Trudeau and his election ends nearly a decade of rule under the Conservative Party's Stephen Harper. Though, as NPR's Jackie Northam...

On an early spring day in 2012, a half-dozen FBI agents entered a house in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia. It belonged to an Indonesian named Rudy Kurniawan . According to Maureen Downey , founder of winefraud.com, his home was kept to 55 degrees. "His elderly mother had to have a space heater in her bedroom because it was so damned cold," says Downey. "The entire house was cellar temperature." Inside the FBI found everything to produce counterfeit wine: corks, dozens of empty bottles and...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: After years of negotiating, 12 nations yesterday reached a final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would be the largest free-trade deal in the world - but one Pacific nation notably absent, China. Here's NPR's Jackie Northam. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: When the U.S. first joined the TPP back in 2008, China was a skeptical. Matthew Goodman, with the Center for Strategic and...

A tragic incident this week in Yemen is intensifying scrutiny of a Saudi-led military campaign there, as well as the U.S. role in backing that Saudi offensive. The Saudis are fighting rebels called Houthis who ousted the government. And while all sides are accused of abuses, increasing blame is turning toward the Saudis and their allies. At a time when civilian casualties in general are on the rise, the deadliest single attack in Yemen since the conflict began in March occurred Monday near...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The company Royal Dutch Shell is stopping its drilling operations in the Arctic for the foreseeable future. The oil company says it failed to find enough crude to warrant further exploration of the area. This decision comes after $7 billion in costs and years of fighting the regulatory process and environmentalists. NPR's Jackie Northam has more. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Shell's announcement today that it...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Two men meet for dinner this weekend in Washington. One is the leader of the nation with the world's largest economy, and the other leads the nation that expects its economy to grow larger. One leads the nation considered the most important power in Asia. The other believes his country should be. President Obama is hosting China's President Xi Jinping starting today. And beneath the ceremony, there is...

The sheer number of Syrian refugees on the move is straining humanitarian aid agencies. The United Nations' main refugee agency, the office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees , says it is financially broke, making it difficult to help millions of Syrians living in refugee camps in neighboring countries. Aid workers say the deteriorating situation in the camps is forcing more refugees to make the long and difficult trek to Europe. Every January over the past four years, the UNHCR has...

For Syrian refugees, trying to find safety and building a new life in the one of the wealthy Arab Gulf states would seem logical: no harrowing sea journeys, and a familiar language, religion and culture. Human rights groups and others are urging these countries to do more to welcome Syrian refugees. The U.N. refugee agency and Amnesty International say that none of the Arab Gulf states — including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates — have settled Syrians looking to escape the...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: China is buying less from Brazil. That's a factor in Brazil's economic crisis. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And the bigger truth is that any country that prospered selling raw materials or commodities to China is facing trouble now. NPR's Jackie Northam reports. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: For years, China has had an enormous appetite for commodities, everything from coal and iron ore to copper and nickel, to help...

Lisa Hywood remembers the first time she ever set eyes on a pangolin. It was in 1994, and she had just founded the Tikki Hywood Trust , a wildlife conservation sanctuary in Zimbabwe. One morning, someone dropped off a strange-looking, injured creature that had been confiscated from an illegal trader. "This animal arrived in a sack and smelling something horrendous," she recalls. "And I looked at this animal and I thought it's like no other mammal that I've ever encountered." The pangolin is...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Egypt declared a national holiday today in honor of the opening of the new Suez Canal. A flotilla of ships sailed down the waterway, including a yacht which was the first vessel to pass through the Suez Canal when it opened in 1869. But the project might not raise as much money as the Egyptian government promises. NPR's Jackie Northam reports. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Egypt pulled out all the stops for...

The killing of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a dentist from Minnesota has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting. It's a thriving industry, with more than 1,000 organizations worldwide. George Hinton is with Hunting Legends in Pennsylvania. The company runs safaris on thousands of acres in South Africa. Its website is filled with pictures of lions, and there's a price list : An elephant can cost you $60,000 plus daily rates. A male lion in its...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: The outrage over the killing of Cecil the lion is still growing. Zimbabwe will ask the United States to extradite Walter Palmer. That's the American dentist who lured the lion off a game reserve and killed him. The White House has received a petition with over 130,000 signatures demanding Palmer's extradition. As NPR's Jackie Northam reports, companies that organize big-game safaris are also feeling...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Mullah Mohammed Omar, the reclusive leader of the Taliban, is dead. In fact, he's been dead for more than two years. That's what the Afghan government now says. News of his death comes days before peace talks between the Taliban and Afghanistan are due to resume. NPR's Jackie Northam has the story. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: Mullah Mohammed Omar, the one eyed cleric who led the Taliban for nearly two...

The U.S. State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its list of worst human trafficking offenders — which many human rights advocates and U.S. lawmakers say has more to do with politics than facts on the ground. The department's latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report also upgraded Uzbekistan and Angola, while Belize, Belarus and South Sudan were among 18 nations downgraded this year. Russia, Iran, Eritrea and Algeria are some of the countries that have been on the blacklist for...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The new leader of Africa's economic powerhouse, Nigeria, met with President Obama in the Oval Office today. Muhammadu Buhari was elected president in March in what was seen as Nigeria's first peaceful transition of power. Today's visit was an opportunity for the two countries to patch up a relationship which had soured. NPR's Jackie Northam reports. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: President Obama extended an...

North Korea knows a little bit about drought and famine. In the 1990s, it's believed that up to 1 million North Koreans died in one of the worst famines of the 20th century. So when Pyongyang issued a statement last month saying the country is facing its "worst drought in 100 years," it was taken seriously. But Randall Ireson , a specialist on North Korean agriculture, says that prediction might be a bit overblown . "The phrase 'the worst drought in 100 years' is probably an exaggeration," he...

$100 billion: That's roughly how much the U.S. Treasury Department says Iran stands to recover once sanctions are lifted under the new nuclear deal. The money comes from Iranian oil sales and has been piling up in some international banks over the past few years. But there are questions about what Iran will do with this windfall. Oil is one of Iran's most valuable commodities. And, sanctions or no sanctions, Iran found buyers over the past few years. Month after month, millions of dollars of...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Today's nuclear deal between Iran and the so-called P5+1 - that's the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - well, it has significance beyond arms proliferation. Millions of barrels of Iranian oil could flood the global market. Prices are already low, thanks to a glut in supply, and this morning's news of a deal caused a further dip in prices. NPR's Jackie Northam looks at how quickly Iran...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A bit of history was made today. For the first time, a Communist Party chief from Vietnam held talks with an American president at the White House. The meeting came just days before the 20th anniversary of the normalization of relations between the two countries, and it was an opportunity for the U.S. to further its reengagement with Asian nations. NPR's Jackie Northam reports. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE:...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: There's a fight going on between the U.S. and the Persian Gulf. It's not about terrorism or regional security. This fight involves commercial airlines. The three big U.S. carriers - American, United and Delta - are pushing back against the swift and successful expansion of three Gulf carriers. NPR's Jackie Northam has more. JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: At any one of 15 cities across the U.S., aircraft from...

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